Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 2003-04 Infiniti M45

Fullscreen capture 5152014 63424 AM.bmp Welcome to the Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage, a regular feature which aims to expand the notion of what a muscle car is, and to show that obscure muscle cars came from all over the world. For 2003 Nissan has decided to fill the $15,000 hole in their line-up between the hot selling G35 and the not-so-hot selling Q45, with a sports sedan retailing near $42,000. Now, the company wasn’t loaded with money at that time, so they found a way to do this one cheap. They took a home market luxury sedan (the Nissan Cedric/Gloria) complete with styling from a couple decades ago. They called it the M45, and it’s the subject of this installment of the Obscure Muscle Car Garage. Continue reading after the jump! 2004_infiniti_m45_4_dr_std_sedan-pic-1022.jpeg (775×431) - Google Chrome 5152014 63523 AM.bmp The original Infiniti Q45, introduced late in 1989, was a truly unique luxury car, combining styling with Japanese themes, a top-notch chassis, and a powerful 4.5 liter V8. Unfortunately for Nissan, the great majority of luxury car buyers were looking for something more ordinary. The result: Nissan lost buckets of money on the original Q, even after they added a grille to the outside and wood to the inside for the 1994 model year. For the 1997 model year they simply took a Japanese home market luxury sedan and tuned it a bit for American tastes. Japanese home market luxury cars tend to be very conservatively styled, and the second-generation Q45 was no exception. Result: few people were ever even aware this car existed. It generally sold to people who like to think they’ve found a killer deal, as Infiniti threw in some hefty incentives. At least Nissan didn’t lose much this time around, since they didn’t invest nearly as much in the development and tooling of the car. This is the playbook Nissan used for the 2003 M45. Infiniti M45 picture # 06 of 11, Rear Angle, MY 2003, 800x600 - Google Chrome 5152014 62357 AM.bmp The M45 is a boxy sedan with enough rear overhang to stand in for a 1960s Pontiac Tempest, and it has been a while since proportions like these were ever seen. The sharp edges when combined with the massive 18” alloy wheels makes this this car look tough and distinctive. It’s sort of unintentional retro, and it’s very cool. Infiniti M45 picture # 08 of 11, Interior, MY 2003, 800x600 - Google Chrome 5152014 64646 AM.bmp The interior has largely been lifted from the Q45. The materials are first rate with “natural wood trim”, high-mounted stereo and climate controls, and a center mounted display (with a larger screen for the optional DVD navigation). There is an optional voice activation for the controls, for the truly lazy driver. Unfortunately, the cassette player is located in its own trendy metallic panel in the center of the dash, while the CD changer is in the glove compartment. Infiniti M45 picture # 11 of 11, Engine, MY 2003, 800x600 - Google Chrome 5152014 62520 AM.bmp The M45 is equipped with a 340 HP, 4.5L DOHC V8 found in the Q45. Step into the throttle, and the M45 does 0-60 mph in just over 6.0 seconds, and triple digit velocities are not out of the question. Stopping power, with 11.4-inch front/11.5-inch rear vented disc brakes with 4-channel ABS, gives the M45 unparalleled stopping distances. The transmission is a manually shiftable five speed auto. Infiniti M45 picture # 07 of 11, Rear Angle, MY 2003, 800x600 - Google Chrome 5152014 62345 AM.bmp With the huge rear overhang coupled to a relatively short front overhang, powerful engine, and tight interior in a longish body, and with a chassis that prefers to go fast pointed straight, this is a 1960s muscle car reincarnated in its next life. It’s fast, brash, bold, and most of all, rear wheel drive. Is this an Obscure Muscle Car, or a Japanese Home Luxury Sedan dressed as one? Let me know what you think. infinitim45.jpg (775×431) - Google Chrome 5152014 62646 AM.bmp [poll id=”208″] Fullscreen capture 5152014 62834 AM.bmp Please Note: All Images are screen grabs from around the web. If you want credit for any image, please let me know in the comments section. Thank You! 37249359.jpg (1024×768) - Google Chrome 5152014 62941 AM.bmp

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